ANGELES, PAMPANGA — Bulacan squeaked past Caloocan-Victory Liner, 81-79, for its sixth-straight win in the 2019-20 Chooks-to-Go MPBL Lakan Season, Thursday at the AUF Gym.
With three final attempts to tie or win the game — Cedric Labing-isa’s layup, then follow-up, then Danny Marilao’s triple — Caloocan flunked them all, allowing the Kuyas to escape triumphantly.
Leading by just one point, Bulacan’s Stephen Siruma knocked in a three-pointer at the 42.3-second mark of the final quarter, 81-77. John Ambulodto’s putback on Labing-isa’s miss then put Caloocan within two, 79-81, with 28.1 ticks left.
“Ang intention ko talaga ay bigyan ‘yung mga bench players namin ng kumpyansa, kaya medyo nadikitan kami. Pero kailangan kasi namin mag-invest sa kanila para maging stronger ang team,” said Bulacan coach Kerwin Mccoy.
Already up 20-15, the Kuyas started the second period on a 21-6 blast to lead by 20, 41-21. But Caloocan managed to trim the deficit to 10 at halftime, 43-33, via a 12-2 counter-run.
Jovit Dela Cruz unloaded 14 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals, helping the Kuyas up their record to 18-8 at fourth seed in the North.
Dennis Santos and Lester Alvarez contributed 13 markers apiece for Bulacan. Meanwhile, JR Taganas missed an unusual double-double with 15 rebounds and nine assists to go with his two markers.
Labing-isa and Paul Sanga registered game-highs in points with 21 each for Caloocan.
The loss allowed the Supremos drop to 14-12, tied with Pasay Voyagers for the eight spot in the same Northern division.
Bulacan 81 – Dela Cruz 14, Alvarez 13, Santos 13, Escocio 11, Siruma 11, Alabanza 7, Diputado 6, Arim 3, Taganas 2, Nermal 1, De Mesa 0, Antipuesto 0.
Caloocan-Victory Liner 79 – Sanga 21, Labing-isa 21, Ambulodto 11, Escalambre 8, Tongco 7, Sarangay 6, Marilao 5, Cervantes 0, Lasco 0, Gonzales 0.
Quarterscores: 20-15, 43-33, 65-60, 81-79.
Story by Justin Valencia
Photo by Nicks Hernandez